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Record Keeping

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  • Record Keeping

    A couple months ago I went from a 1 horse owner to a 3 horse owner and from a boarder to having the gang at our place. Now, i'm finding it a little difficult to keep up on the records.

    Currently I've got a notebook with a section for each horse and a little portfolio with important documents and invoices in it. I'm going to try rendaivu.com tonight when I get home from work, as a back up.

    But, my big issue is writing things down when they happen. How do you guys make your record keeping easier? Where do you keep your books? I've thought about keeping mine in the barn, but the chance of something ruining them keeps me from doing that. Keeping them in the house, I just forget. Then before I know it, "the horses were dewormed about 6 weeks ago.... I think", happens.


  • #2
    One thing you could do is have a wipe-off board hanging somewhere in your barn where you can jot down when they were shod, dewormed, shots, etc. Or you could keep one of those daily calendar's in the barn and do the same thing. Then if you want, you can easily transfer the info elsewhere if you want to keep any records in your house or computer and you will always have it handy in the barn. I think the wipe off boards are great, not just for dates but for important phone numbers and to write down reminders like when to order hay/shavings/grain/supplements or anything else you may need and don't want to forget!


    • #3
      I keep all my stuff on a spreadsheet on the computer, because Lord knows that's where I am a good part of the day! Each horse has its own page with shot records, deworming for the last year, date Coggins expires, last float, last trim, plus other handy notes (insurance info, SCID status for the breeding stock, etc).
      Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
      No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.


      • #4
        I have a calendar that I write in every night and file at the end of the year. For 2010 I have spread sheets made to see what my horse actually cost me a year (scary but I'm curious!).


        • #5
          I have a binder in the barn where I gave each horse their own section. The first part of the section I typed and printed a blank feed chart, a blank deworming chart, and spots for farrier and vet visits. I print those out on cardstock, so they are heavier and easier to flip to in a hurry.

          Then behind the cardstock pages I just have looseleaf notebook paper where I jot down training notes, behavior notes (if something is up) or any other miscellaneous stuff (like, I can flip back through and know EXACTLY when my horse cut his hind leg on th fence, when my colt was acting a little lethargic, when I switched my pony from supplement A to supplement B, when my TB mare started schooling leg-yields, etc etc etc)

          I also keep a collection of pens at the barn, because for some reason, pens always seem to die faster when they are exposed to that much dust and the crazy temperature changes.

          THEN, at home, I have a file (something like this) and each horse has 3 folders: one folder for things like registration papers, coggins, USEF records and so forth. The 2nd folder has all of the vet/chiro/farrier records/receipts. the 3rd folder is where I toss in all of my notes from the barn binder when it gets too full. At the end of the year, I leave everything in there- I just paperclip the year's worth of papers together so they don't get mixed up.

          It sounds complex, but really isn't. I do most of my note-taking at the barn in my binder, and then the files at home are just there for me to toss misc. paperwork into.

          The binder at the barn is actually really helpful, because my friend and I do self-care board, and we alternate days where we take care of the horses. That way, both of us can have some "days off" from the barn, but the horses are always taken care of. The feed charts help make sure the horses get fed the exact same thing, and the first thing we do after our days off is to go straight to the binder and see what happened the previous day.

          Oh, I also have a dry-erase calendar in the tack room where I write all of the month's shows, farrier visits, riding lessons, deworming schedule, etc. so we can both see what's going on at a glance.
          Last edited by oharabear; Dec. 23, 2009, 05:46 PM. Reason: added link


          • #6
            I save the things I've done on the calendar on my cell phone as I'm doing them. Then I record them either on paper or on the computer when I get home. That way I have two records, and if I do forget to do it right then, I can go back and look at my phone to double check the dates.


            • #7
              I made a calendar in Word (though you could just buy a calendar too!) I have one for each horse and jot down when things happen- wound, farrier, vet, feed change, etc. I keep it on the bookshelf right next to my bed where it's easy for me to update. I put all the apts on the calendar in my phone as well- so if I ever get confused on dates I can always go consult that too!

              I also have a saved document on my computer that is the complete and detailed record book. I usually go in and update it every month or so.
              Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
              If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever


              • #8
                I buy a Month at a Glance book for my horse. I note what work the horse did, which comes in really handy when others ride the horse. I also note feed changes, when I started a certain supplement, shoes, worming, etc. I keep it in with my tack and write in it last thing before I lock up. Just today the farrier was going to do his shoes because he thought it was time, but I checked and it had only been five weeks.

                My friend with a busy schedule got me started keeping a calender. There were at one time three of us who rode/fed her horse, so we'd always know how much work he'd been doing and what to expect.

                This came in very handy when I was rehabbing my horse and could write down to the minute how much walking and trotting he was supposed to be doing every day.
                2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                A helmet saved my life.


                • #9
                  Calendar. One of those "year at a glance" ones that you can hang in the barn near your phone is good. Then all info is transferred into each horses's individual binder. You also might want to keep a 'journal'. Many states require a daily journal be kept for a working barn.
                  --Gwen <><
                  "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."


                  • #10
                    I found this website a few months ago and it's worked great for me.


                    I love having everything organized and with this program everything is so easy to access. Other than that I keep a large calendar to keep up with supplements and shows, and use a dry erase board for reminders and little notes.


                    • #11
                      I have "too many" horses. I get those nifty record sheets from Jeffers for about 22 cents a sheet and put them in a three ring binder. I keep it at my computer desk and have had it for about 4 years now. It's the first time I know when everything happened.

                      I actually saved a sale on a horse as they did a vetting and mentioned a small dent in her hoof. I looked back and saw that six months prior she had popped an abscess out the top of her coronary band. They said that was exactly what the vet had said.

                      I highly recommend them!
                      Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
                      Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
                      & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ambar View Post
                        I keep all my stuff on a spreadsheet on the computer, because Lord knows that's where I am a good part of the day! Each horse has its own page with shot records, deworming for the last year, date Coggins expires, last float, last trim, plus other handy notes (insurance info, SCID status for the breeding stock, etc).
                        Ditto to this except all my horses (3 right now) are on the same page just because I'd forget one or two if they wern't right in front of me!
                        http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


                        • #13
                          I keep everything in a binder. My only riding horse has detailed pages of her farrier, vet, deworming, show, etc in a section of the binder. Left over habit from my PonyClub days (They have a handy record book ready to fill in that you could print out for free and use to start good habits). The other three, my ancient mini and two I manage for my grandmother simply get a reference chart I made in word. I can jot down their tri and deworming dates, which is really all they need as pasture potatoes. If I had horses I was riding and needing/wanting to keep more details on, they’d have their own section in the binder.

                          As far as making sure to write it all down, I also have my own personal planner to keep track of the appointments in relation to my own schedule. I also went ahead and wrote in the deworming dates in advanced so when I get to a new month, I see it written down and get to it within a day or two.

                          I tried keeping an index box and cards, but because of smaller size it wasn’t that handy, and therefore I wasn’t as good as I could have been about dates.


                          • #14
                            I don't have many horses now, only three.

                            But that and 25 hounds makes for some confusion.

                            I have it all on one spreadsheet.

                            If you know anything about formulas, you can put day counting formulas in cells and even have them pop up a big warning in large bold font like RABIES PAST DUE.

                            Worming is easier for horses than for hounds.

                            I worm mine on the same day I have them shod.

                            I don't use Excel or Lotus 123 any more. I run linux, but if anyone wants to see how I do it, send me an email.

                            Some of the formulas may not work in Excell but it will give you the idea.



                            • #15
                              Horses get wormed the first of the odd numbered months (1/1/09, 3/1/09, 5/1/09). Coggins done on everything shortly after the first of the year and they get a rabies at the same time the blood for the Coggins is done. I do the rest of my shots myself, once in the spring and once in the fall. I just keep my receipt for the shots and write down the names of the horses that rec'd them on the receipt. It's rare that I ever go back and look at the receipts or have to compile a health history for the horse.
                              Man plans. God laughs.


                              • #16
                                I have only the one horse, but a really comprehensive record system for him - thanks, Pony Club!

                                He's got a binder with tabs separated by year. I usually keep 3 years in there - one upcoming, one current, and one past. In the front of each section are 12 calendar sheets, one for each month. Behind those calendar sheets are receipts, in chronological order. Anything smaller than a full page gets taped to a blank piece of paper so it can still go in there.

                                Then I jot a quick note in the day space on the calendars in front. "Trim - Ralph" or "Massage - Eva." That way I can go back to the receipt for particulars. I also use a color-coded system to highlight; trims are blue, massages are pink, vet care is yellow, worming is green, and misc. is purple. That way I can look at a month quickly.

                                His important papers are all filed in there, with copies kept up front in the pocket, so I can grab a Coggins or health certificate copy quickly. Really in-depth stuff (his radiographs, boarding contracts, etc) is in my filing cabinet in his folder.
                                life + horses


                                • #17
                                  Ah, I think the Horse Manager binder is your answer! This binder has 9 tabbed sections (The Basics, Vaccinations, Dental Care, Farrier, Chiropractor/Acupuncture/Massage, General Health, Training/Lessons/Exercise, Show Records, Important Documentation). Each section is filled with 1-3 different types of forms that allow you to easily track everything about your horse (there are 100 printed pages total within the binder). The forms are designed to be able to hold 5 years worth of information, but that’s assuming you track your lessons and training 6 days a week so for some it will last longer. Clear storage sheets are provided in the Vaccination section to hold your coggins and health certificate and in the Important Documentation section to hold your registration papers, insurance papers, etc.

                                  Check it out:


                                  • #18
                                    For me it is a case of making the time to put in the entry. I'm very bad about doing that on daily basis. I collect receipts and put them in an old notebook, then about once a month I track where I am, (well,where they are) I may go to a block system that I use for the rest of my bills that gives me things to do per month and a block to fill in when I have completed the task, say the farrier shows up. Still requires me to sit down with the book or computer and do the entries. I waste entirely too much time on the computer surfing the 'net - need to get organized!
                                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                    Incredible Invisible


                                    • #19
                                      I have a calendar hung up in the barn and a white board.